Serena Williams French Open 2021

Serena Williams still hungry for success but winning “is not my reason for waking up”

In a revealing interview Serena Williams has explained that focusing on her family matters more to her than success in tennis, with winning now considered a ”desire and no longer a need.”

Former World number one Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam’s, is just one Grand Slam short of all time leader Margaret Court’s record. As part of a personal essay for Elle magazine, the 40-year-old American discussed how she still wants to continue playing in pursuit of that illusive 24th major title however it is not her main priority.

“Since I’ve had my baby, the stakes of the game have shifted for me. I have 23 Grand Slams to my name, more than any other active player. But winning is now a desire and no longer a need.”

“I have a beautiful daughter at home; I still want the titles, the success, and the esteem, but it’s not my reason for waking up in the morning. There is more to teach her about this game than winning.

“I’ve learned to dust myself off after defeat, to stand up for what matters at any cost, to call out for what’s fair – even when it makes me unpopular. Giving birth to my baby, it turned out, was a test for how loud and how often I would have to call out before I was finally heard.”

Williams went on to reveal how she was ”finally heard” during her pregnancy as she insisted she needed a CAT scan and felt like she “was dying” following Olympia’s birth. That procedure detected a blood clot in her lungs and saved her life.

Serena then revealed how difficult the recovery process became, “When I first got home, I couldn’t walk down the driveway. When I finally made it to a tree halfway down the driveway, it was a big hurdle for me. Everyone in my family cheered me on, telling me ‘You’re doing so good!’

“They must’ve been aching on the inside, but they still all acted like nothing was wrong. My dad was so encouraging, saying ‘Look, you did it!’ This, after he coached me for years, all tough and relentless. I’m glad they didn’t let me see how bad it really was.”

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